Palestinian Labor Flows to the Israeli Economy: A Finished Story?
This article analyzes employment trends of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians in Israel during the Oslo years (1993-2000). While significantly reduced from pre-1992 levels, Palestinian labor flows to Israel remained important but changed in form and content, revealing contrasting Israeli policies toward the two territories. In Gaza, labor links with Israel were increasingly severed, reflecting the growing separation of the two economies and the transformation of Gaza into a de facto labor reserve. In the West Bank, where the process of economic "Bantustanization" is described, workers continued to be employed beyond the Green Line and in the settlements, enhancing the incorporation of parts of the territory into Israel.
Leila Farsakh is a research affiliate at the Center for International Studies at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and a research fellow at the Trans-Arab Research Institute in Boston.